Failure to change beneficiaries in a divorce can be costly

While the divorce rate has seen a slight decline in recent years, almost half of those who marry still face the prospect of divorce. When a marriage ends in Ohio, the couple divide the assets and are free to continue their respective lives as newly single individuals without legal ties to each other -- except where the issue of federal retirement accounts might be concerned. Failure to address beneficiary designations can have unintended consequences following a divorce.

When a person starts a new job and signs up for an employer-provided 401(k) plan, one is asked to designate a beneficiary. The beneficiary is typically one's spouse. If the employee predeceases the spouse, the proceeds of the account will transfer to the beneficiary. In the event of a divorce, the owner of the account must designate a new beneficiary, or the ex-spouse could still receive the proceeds.

Employer-sponsored retirement programs are typically protected by federal law and are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The only way to ensure that one's wishes following a divorce will be successfully carried out is to change the designated beneficiary on those accounts. Failure to change the beneficiary on those accounts could result in an ex-spouse receiving the proceeds, even if a significant amount of time has passed.

Property and asset division in divorce can be complex and time-consuming. It is possible to overlook necessary changes that may then be forgotten. A person in Ohio who is contemplating divorce might benefit from consulting with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can help review all of one's financial and material assets, and help to ensure that all of the bases are covered in arriving at a fair and equitable settlement.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Contact

Questions About Divorce?

Contact the Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Kemp Law Group, LLC

Kemp Law Group, LLC
555 Metro Place North
Suite 300
Dublin, OH 43017

Phone: 614-389-1991
Fax: 614-389-3352
Dublin Law Office Map